Guide to Gift Giving: When To Give A Gift
Grandma explained that the concept gift giving dated back to prehistoric times, when primitive humans would give gifts to each other as a sign of endearment. These gifts could include things like rocks, animal teeth, food or furs. As well as exchanging gifts between themselves, primitive humans would also make offerings to gods and kings as a sign of respect or to thank them. In most cases however, these gifts were given to persuade the gods or kings to do things back for them.
Gift giving as we know it today was really invented by Queen Victoria. In her court, a great deal of attention was paid to creating a ‘proper’ society and establishing ‘rules’ on how to behave. It is here that the concepts of birthday gifts, hostess gifts (gifts you bring when you go and visit your friends) were established.
Grandma chuckled, “Given the level of detail in creating these rules, you would have thought that Queen Victoria’s court had nothing better to do!”
She continued, “Actually, the reason they made so many rules was because they thought this would keep balance in society. In some ways it did, because if you followed the rules, then everyone knew what to expect. So, when you gave a gift you could be rest assured that something of at least equal value would be returned.”
“Daddy just thinks Mummy likes to throw money away. He thinks we don’t need to give half the gifts we do” said Teyus ruefully.
“When do you need to give a gift Grandma?” asked Mira. She had also heard her dad say the same things.
Grandma thoughtfully replied, “Well, you give a present whenever you want to give one and to whoever you want to give one to. There are no rules that need to be followed. But it does make sense to ask yourself these two questions:
Does it make me happy to give this present? There is no point in ever giving a present if it does not make you happy. If you are not happy with how much it costs, or if you think it’s not a good present, or if you don’t want to give this person a present – don’t give it.
Giving should make you feel as happy as the person who is receiving it.
Is it time to show this person that I appreciate them? Maybe you want to give your friend a present because she is sad, or she’s won a competition, or it’s her birthday. There’s no fixed time to give someone a present. What you should consider is how much you are willing to spend and the best time to actually give that gift. So, if you think your friend would really like that present now, then give it now. However, if you know your friend is very particular about her birthday, maybe you should wait until then to give it to her.”